Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I feel as if I have said the word “unprecedented” more in the last four months than I have ever said it before the coronavirus pandemic came upon us. Yet the reality is that there are things that we are encountering as a community and as a country and throughout the world that we have never encountered before. While I might
benefit from checking the thesaurus for other words that also mean “without precedent,” the fact remains that this whole situation is unique when compared to our common experience of life before all this happened.
As I mentioned in my letter last week, our school principal, Mrs. Kathy Chesnut has retired this year. This was not a surprise nor was it a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Around this time last year, Mrs. Chesnut informed me that it would be her last year as principal. Of course, this means that a new principal must be
found and hired. Typically, the diocese has a full process for this. If only it were a typical year. Just as we were
to start the search for a new principal in earnest, Covid-19 hit and we had to contend with a new and added wrinkle to the situation.
Still, I formed a search committee from various stakeholder groups and gained valuable input and insight from them as we looked for the next leader of our school. Let me publicly thank them again for their good work. We had a number of strong candidates to choose from, but ultimately made the decision to go with Mrs. Cynthia Smith.
Mrs. Smith comes to us with strong experience in both Catholic and public education. In fact, she has ties with our school; her first teaching experience was with St. Charles in one of our fifth-grade classes. Most recently, she was the principal at OLPH which unfortunately closed at the end of the academic year after many years of financial difficulties. Please do not think for a minute that Mrs. Smith was in any way responsible for that closure. In fact, she did an admirable job of guiding the community in her two years as principal and comes highly recommended by all that I’ve spoken to about her, including the Superintendent of schools for the diocese.
I have every confidence that Mrs. Smith is a great fit for our school. She is passionate about Catholic education, is a tremendously hard-worker, and has a gentleness to her that serves her well in the difficult situations that sometime arise in the role of principal. As we look to September and try to return to the normalcy of in-person instruction, Mrs. Smith is poised and ready to lead our community through it. And should plans change and we end up in another unprecedented place, I’m positive that she will help us through those realities as well.
Peace and Goodness,